Virtual tour to offer view of largest Scots nature reserve

The beauty of the Great Trossachs Forest can now be enjoyed by virtual visitors. Picture: Allan Milligan
The beauty of the Great Trossachs Forest can now be enjoyed by virtual visitors. Picture: Allan Milligan
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Its wooded glens and serene lochs are said to have inspired dozens of famous poems and paintings.

Now the beauty of the Great Trossachs Forest has been brought to life on the small screen as part of a bid to promote its natural splendour to a wider audience.

Would-be tourists will be able to follow in the footsteps of painter John Everett Millais and Sir Walter Scott via “A 
Virtual Walk in the Trossachs”, which offers a 360 degree view of the forest that stretches from the edge of Callander to the shores of Loch Lomond.

Among the tour’s many highlights is the McGregor burial ground, where the kinsmen of famous outlaw Rob Roy were interred.

At each panorama point, digital ramblers can soak up the views and then witness how the landscape changes over the seasons.

Great Trossachs Forest project manager Sue 
Morris said: “People all over the UK and the world will be able to take a virtual walk in our woods and mountains, so we hope the tour will boost tourism to the wider Stirling area.

“It is also full of interesting information for people living more locally.”

The project involving the spectacular wildlife haven of lochs, high peaks, moorland, pastures and wooded glens kicked off in 2006, and last year it became the largest nature reserve in the UK. Scottish National Heritage approved the creation of the 16,500 hectare reserve and a habitat restoration programme is under way to save declining numbers of species such as black grouse.

Efforts are being made to improve the water quality in nearby Loch Katrine, which provides 70 per cent of Glasgow’s main water supply.

The virtual walking tour is part of a wider project around the Great Trossachs Forest, which is the only Scottish scheme to have been nominated for a prestigious National Lottery Award this year.

The scheme has also supported the construction of two visitors’ buildings, along with a natural play and sculpture trail.

It also included an extension to the path network, which has been extended to form a new long distance trail through the heart of the park.

The project trounced competition from more than 600 organisations to reach the public voting stage in the Environment category of this year’s National Lottery Awards.